February 18th, 2015 / Insight posted in

Are you as caring as your workforce?

By Adam Flight Recent statistics have found that three million people in the UK combine work with care. An ageing population means that this figure will rise significantly. Are you doing enough to support those who have caring responsibilities? Research published by XpertHR earlier this year found that one employer in three offers leave to employees who are juggling work and care commitments. What can you do to support those with caring responsibilities if you do not currently have anything in place? With the right to request flexible working now open to all employees, it is likely to enable carers to be able to request to work flexibly and could be the key to employers helping this particular group of employees. In a recent report published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) it found that more than a third of employers were witnessing increasing absence levels because staff are struggling to balance caring responsibilities with work. With only one in six employers having policies in place to help employees achieve a better work life balance. In order to tackle this growing problem, there are a number of different options that you might want to consider implementing in order to accommodate your caring workforce which in turn should help to lower absence levels, increase morale, and help with staff retention. Some of the more common types of support that some employers offer their workforce include: proactive communication to your employees about making flexible working requests, offer different forms of compassionate leave (either paid or unpaid), offer carers’ leave or look at providing some form of counselling service. By taking action now by looking at implementing some form of policy to accommodate those who care for others, could have a positive impact on your workforce by reducing sickness level, improving engagement and increasing morale.